ARCADIA, Calif. -- Santa Anita canceled its Sunday card at 11:20 a.m. Pacific time Sunday morning after jockeys told management the Cushion Track surface was uneven and therefore unsafe.
Racing also was canceled on Saturday following heavy rain Friday night. Track maintenance personnel worked on the surface throughout Saturday and into Sunday morning.
At 10:30 a.m., a group of riders -- including Tyler Baze, Rafael Bejarano, Garrett Gomez, and Mike Smith -- told Santa Anita management they believed the track was not safe. Management asked for 45 additional minutes to work on the surface, and the riders agreed to the delay. But after a second look at the track, riders again believed the surface unsafe.
"It's slick in some spots, and it pulls on your shoes in other spots," said Darrell Haire, an official with the Jockeys' Guild.
Even if racing had gone on Sunday, the card would have been decimated by scratches. Of the 83 horses entered for Sunday's card following early scratches on Saturday, 39 were scratched by 10:50 a.m. Sunday morning, leaving just 44 horses for the nine-race card.
Only two runners remained in the eighth race, and both Costume and Wait a While were scratched from the featured San Gorgonio Handicap, which would have been the day's third race.
Santa Anita is scheduled to race on Monday, then have dark days both Tuesday and Wednesday.